Why a groundhog?

I have a very serious question, and I hope someone out there can answer it for me. In the history of Groundhog Day, has there ever been a year that the groundhog did not see its shadow and spring suddenly ensued?

Iím pretty sure thatís not the case. It seems obvious that after Groundhog Day, we should expect six more weeks of winter, but for some reason, someone decided to invent a holiday to get our hopes up, make us think thereís a possibility that spring is right around the corner and let the whole thing hinge on a furry little animal so no one can be angry about it.

Who decided that a groundhog should predict future weather patterns, and who decided that Punxsutawney Phil was the right groundhog for the job? Itís not like the groundhog has any special skills or abilities in meteorology. Predicting six more weeks of winter isnít even that impressive. Now if the groundhog could pop his head out and magically predict windfall, barometric pressure and temperature using only its shadow as a gauge, then maybe I would be impressed.



Since it canít do any of that, Iíve decided that Groundhog Day is just another one of those meaningless holidays that holds very little value to anyone aside from members of the groundhog family.

Iím not sure what the reason was for having a day set aside every year for this strange tradition. Unlike other holidays, it seems there was little reason to begin an annual holiday. Other holidays may be similarly meaningless now, but at least most of them began with some meaning in mind.

Holidays like Halloween and St. Patrickís Day started out meaning something. They were celebrated for a specific purpose, and although I enjoy celebrating them as they are today, Iím pretty sure itís not what was originally intended. Over the years, the meaning of the holidays has been lost, and what do we celebrate instead? On Halloween, itís dressing in costume and demanding candy. Itís fun, but altogether far from the original celebration of the holiday. On St. Patrickís Day, most celebrate by wearing green and drinking a lot, but Iíd bet few people spend the day thinking about St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland. Iím not bashing the holiday. I like celebrating the fact that Iím Irish. I just doubt many think about the reason the holiday is celebrated.

Iím sure thereís a great reason that Groundhog Day is celebrated every February. Iím sure if I took the time to type it into my search engine, I would get an informative answer on why we look to a groundhog every year to tell us what we already know. Iím sure those answers are readily available, but at this point, Iím too annoyed to go searching for more information. Why? Because Phil just told us we have six more weeks of winter to look forward to.

Today's Other Stories



© 2014 Snyder Communications/The Evening Sun
29 Lackawanna Avenue, Norwich, NY 13815 - (607) 334-3276
We're on Facebook